"Leave your inner critic at the door"

Read about Bridget’s journey with art and how she uses colour to help her wellbeing. She shares the different techniques she has tried and the things she has learned about herself along the way. Bridget cares for both her children and manages her own set of health conditions.

Illustration of a man sitting at his desk, thinking.

I was one of those children who was always doing something creative preschool. Mum was a teacher and set home up like a playgroup, I spent hours with her in messy play, potato printing, cooking, scribbling, writing stories and chalking on my easel. I absolutely loved it!

Then came school and the sudden realisation my drawings looked like nothing they were supposed to!

Like some of us and with some unhelpful comments from teachers I started to feel I had completely failed at art and would dread the lessons. So all that joy and lovely creative, messy art was lost in the box of ‘I cannot do this thing called art’!

Just before the start of lockdown, I attended a course at my local Carers Centre on Resilience. Whilst I was there, I had some additional support from the course leader on a 1-1 basis, who suggested I try energy healing for wellbeing. She recommended having a session with energy healer Delilah Sullivan. I was incredibly lucky to be able, as a carer, to book a free lockdown consultation with Delilah where I was introduced to lots of ideas around energy work including the suggestions of spending more time with nature, grounding and crucially the use of colour and colour visualisation.

By exploring my relationship with colours, I was able to find my ‘good’ colours and explore the colours that I associate with low and higher energy and various emotions.

Following the session, I found ways to notice and place my happy colours, (mine was cornflower blue) around the house as a way to connect with positive emotions throughout the day. I also used the visualisation of the same good colours to help focus my mind at night on remembering positive experiences from through the day. This really helped me

through some hard days!

I began using nature and photography as part of my art; during regular walks, I take photographs of the things on the route and print them off for my journal. Since my session with Delilah, I have been picking out the colours that stand out to me and using pastels to add those colours to the page around the photo as a way to highlight and appreciate the details of the things on my walk.

Both the walks and photography help me to take time for myself and notice sensory things that bring me pleasure. I would never have noticed some of these things before, colours, shapes, shadows and textures in the urban area I live in and in parks and places of beauty I can access.

To help me try new art techniques, I reached out to a friend who is an artist and runs regular workshops. Through mini 1-1 workshops, I learned simple techniques and explored the use of paints. This created an opportunity for me to catch up with a friend online whilst learning and it was fun and totally non-judgemental.